Amygdala acquires Gilead’s candidate for addiction treatment

pharmafile | February 20, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Sales and Marketing Amygdala, Gilead 

Amygdala Neurosciences, a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercialises drugs for the treatment of addiction disorders, has agreed an acquisition with Gilead’s GS-6637. The drug is ready to enter Phase 2 trials and brings the drug candidate back to the team that had previously developed the drug, prior to Gilead takeover.

The drug, GS-6637- is a selective ALDH2 inhibitor, that could potentially treat behaviour and substance abuse by changing the mechanism of action associated with dopamine surges and cravings.

“Completion of this transaction launches Amygdala Neurosciences with a Phase-2 ready asset that we believe has the potential to become a treatment for addiction,” said Peter Strumph, Amygdala’s co-founder and CEO. “In 2017, we look forward to initiating clinical trials for the treatment of both cocaine and alcohol use disorders.”

“Preventing relapse is a critical treatment objective. When exposed to stimuli associated with drug use, addicts experience a pathophysiologic dopamine surge that leads to craving and promotes drug relapse,” said Ivan Diamond, Amygdala’s co-founder and CSO. “In animal studies, GS-6637 decreased drug use and relapse by preventing the stimuli induced pathophysiologic dopamine surges which result in craving and drug seeking behaviour.”

Gilead had previously taken over the drug through its $1.4 billion acquisition of CV Therapeutics, in 2009. The same team that was working on the drug at CV Therapeutics will takeover the development of the drug at Amygdala Neuosciences.

Gilead had taken the drug through Phase 1 trials but has now decided to sell the drug. The terms of the deal have not yet been revealed. The next step for the drug will be get into Phase 2 trials to determine the efficacy of the drug.

Ben Hargreaves

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